Why Kentucky Nurses Association stands with JCPS on mask mandate: Opinion

Jefferson County is in the COVID-19 “red” zone. This is an undisputed fact. Also, as the science tells us from sources like the Louisville Metro Health & Wellness Department, the Kentucky State Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control, one critical step we can all take to prevent the spread of COVID is wearing a mask – this is also a well-known fact.

More than 96,000 students attend Jefferson County Public Schools, the state’s largest school district. JCPS leaders take students’ safety seriously and so do we. The Kentucky Nurses Association agrees and stands with the JCPS Mask Mandate for the 2022-2023 school year.

The message from the KNA, the voice for Kentucky nurses since 1906, is clear and simple. Trust Kentucky nurses - wear face coverings, wash your hands and practice social distancing; the life you save could be your own. We are aware of COVID-19 fatigue, nurses on the frontlines know about it all too well. Still though, we must remain vigilant in our prevention efforts. Consider these additional facts:

Marion Johnson offers hand sanitizer to a returning student at Indian Trail Elementary on the first day of school, Aug. 10, 2022.

More:7 of 500 largest US school systems are requiring masks. JCPS is one of them.

  1. Face masks combined with other preventive measures, such as getting vaccinated, frequent hand-washing and physical distancing, can help slow the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. – Mayo Clinic

  2. During “red” zones, wear a well-fitting mask indoors in public, regardless of vaccination status or individual risk (including in K-12 schools and other community settings) – Centers for Disease Control

  3. COVID-19 can spread when people breathe, talk, cough or sneeze. Wearing a mask keeps the virus from reaching others. It also can stop the virus from reaching you. If everyone wears a mask when they're out in public, fewer people will get sick. – Norton Children’s Hospital website

More:JCPS mask policy stays in place. Push by some board members to go mask-optional fails

Wear your mask, ensure that your family members and friends wear masks. The science supports this, nurses support this and we ask you to support this preventive measure as well.

If these statistics and facts from are not enough to convince you, think about a child struggling to breathe on a ventilator in the intensive care unit. Now, imagine that child is yours.

Delanor Manson, MA, BSN, RN is the Chief Executive Officer for Kentucky Nurses Association/Kentucky Nurses Foundation/Kentucky Nurses Action Coalition

This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Why Kentucky Nurses Association stands with JCPS on mask mandate